Posted on: 30 October 2017Share
The day your last child moves out of the house is a momentous occasion, and it is common to discover that you have mixed emotions. On one hand, you may be excited to enjoy this next phase of watching your child progress into adulthood. However, it's also a big transition anytime someone moves out of your home. Having your last child move out represents a significant change in your role as a parent, and you can use these tips to cope with the challenges that come with adjusting to life with an empty nest.
Stay in Touch
While your nest at home may be empty, you still play a powerful role in your child's life as their parent. Plan opportunities to meet with your child regularly or talk to the phone. Maintaining your connection helps you to remember that your child still relies on you for advice, and hearing about their joys and challenges reassures you that your child still needs you for support. Staying in touch with your child also lets you get to know them in a new way that allows you to be proud of raising a well-adjusted adult.
Reach Out for Support
After a child moves out, it is normal to require a little adjustment time. You may find that you miss seeing their cheerful face each morning, or you may feel sad when they are not there for dinner. However, you should take note if the feelings of sadness linger too long or deepen into depression. If you experience prolonged negative emotions or find it hard to cope, then reach out for support from the people around you. Tell your friends and family members that you are struggling, and attend mental health counseling sessions, such as at Community Counseling Group, where you can vent your emotions and learn how to cope in this new stage of life.
Create New Opportunities for Growth
Parenthood requires making sacrifices to help your child mature into a well-functioning adult, and their leaving home opens up time in your schedule to explore new interests. Think about a few things that you have always wanted to try such as painting, or get back into an old hobby that you let go years ago. Finding positive ways to fill your time helps ease negative emotions while giving you a new reason to embrace life as an empty nester.
An empty nest does not mean that you are no longer needed. Instead, this is a new phase in your life where you can watch your child unfold their wings and thrive as an adult. By caring for yourself during this time, you can adjust and learn how to embrace your new role as a parent of an adult child.